Why Should My Child Brush Their Teeth?
Let’s start with this: Do you know why YOU should brush your teeth? The same reasons apply to your child.
The mouth has been called “the window to your health.” If you have bad dental health, chances are you have – or will soon have – other health problems as well. (Why? Because cavities and decay mean that bacteria is running rampant in your mouth, and that bacteria will spread to the rest of your body through your saliva or small ulcers in your gum tissue.)
Like adults, kids need to brush their teeth at least two times a day for two minutes and floss on a daily basis. Unlike adults, kids need to be supervised while they take care of their teeth (or else the tricky, little things will do their best to get out of it). Not only that, but kids lack the manual dexterity to reach all of their teeth to brush them well. Even if you let them take a “turn” brushing their teeth, the ultimate responsibility for their teeth cleaning falls to you.
Here are a few reasons why your child should brush their teeth:
Permanent teeth can be damaged by baby teeth.
If the baby tooth has decay, there’s a very good chance that the decay will spread to the permanent teeth waiting below. If the decay becomes so bad that the tooth has to be removed, the surrounding teeth may shift into its position and cause crowding when the permanent tooth tries to come through.
Poor oral hygiene means more absences from school.
Over 51 million hours of school are missed each year because of tooth decay because 60%-90% of school-age children have cavities. Because kids can’t often express their discomfort accurately to their parents, many of these cavities go unchecked.
Poor oral hygiene now leads to bad health later.
If your mouth is suffering, the rest of your body is likely to suffer too. Bacteria transfers through your gum tissue and saliva and spreads, increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and dementia and sometimes leading to severe diabetes mellitus, pregnancy complications, and respiratory disease.
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